Washington, DC — Immigrants, faith leaders and advocates from the #DefundHate coalition will gather in the offices of Senator Schumer and Senator Shelby to deliver over 60,000 signatures collected by CREDO, AFSC, and members of the coalition calling for Congress to stop funding for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). With chants, prayers and stories from those who have been harmed by ICE, participants will call on the Senate to take action. The event will take place on Tuesday, September 11 at 11:00 am in the Senators’ offices.
“It is absolutely unacceptable that ICE is seeking more funding for its destructive practices,” said Kathryn Johnson, Policy Advocacy Coordinator for the American Friends Service Committee. “ICE tears apart communities and routinely violates the human rights of those in detention. We need Congress to change the policies that target immigrants, not give this abusive agency more money to keep people in cages.”
Protestors are calling on Senator Schumer, Senator Shelby, and all Members of Congress to make cuts to funding for ICE and Customs and Border Protection (CBP), citing the many reports of abuse and mistreatment, the trauma of family separation, and the violence immigrants suffer at the hands of both agencies. In particular, they are drawing attention to the additional detention funding ICE is trying to attach to the continuing resolution that Congress must pass this month to avoid a government shutdown, and calling on the Senate to reject this anomaly.
“For years Congress has funded mass deportation and detention,” Said Richard Morales, policy and program director of Faith In Action’s immigration campaign LA RED. “Congress again is failing our immigrant families and communities of faith that are working to stop family separation. The omnibus includes increased funding for a larger deportation force, continues militarization of the southern border, and expands Trump’s campaign of violence against communities of color, including undocumented immigrants. Each additional dollar for immigration enforcement is a dollar that DHS can use to detain and deport Dreamers, TPS holders, and beloved community members Congress has failed to protect legislatively.”
The #DefundHate campaign is a coalition of organizations representing directly impacted communities, faith leaders, and civil rights and immigrant rights advocates. The campaign calls on Members of Congress to vote against funding for immigration detention and enforcement, and instead invest in education, housing, nutrition and health care programs that provide opportunity and increase well-being for all.
“For far too long, our representatives have said they care about immigrant communities while simultaneously funding aggressive immigration enforcement and deadly immigration jails,” said Mary Small, Policy Director of Detention Watch Network. “Congress can and should act as a check on Trump’s runaway deportation machine, starting with rejecting the request for additional detention funds in the continuing resolution.”
Rev. Noel Andersen, National Grassroots Coordinator of Church World Serviced added, “Faith communities around the country are rallying to stop additional funding to ICE and CBP because it will only further separate and incarcerate families and terrorize immigrant communities. We’re showing up for this petition delivery to add our prayers and prophetic voices to stop fueling the detention and deportation machine now.”
The petition delivery coincides with a national call-in day asking Members of Congress to weigh in with House and Senate leadership and reject any special funding increase for ICE detention.
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The American Friends Service Committee is a Quaker organization that promotes lasting peace with justice, as a practical expression of faith in action. Drawing on continuing spiritual insights and working with people of many backgrounds, we nurture the seeds of change and respect for human life that transform social systems.
Faith in Action, formerly known as PICO National Network, is the largest grassroots, faith-based organizing network in the United States. The nonpartisan organization works with 1,000 religious congregations in more than 200 cities and towns through its 46 local and state federations. For more information visit www.faithinaction.org.
Detention Watch Network (DWN) is a national coalition of organizations and individuals working to expose and challenge the injustices of the United States’ immigration detention and deportation system and advocate for profound change that promotes the rights and dignity of all persons. Founded in 1997 by immigrant rights groups, DWN brings together advocates to unify strategy and build partnerships on a local and national level to end immigration detention. Visit www.detentionwatchnetwork.org
Since 1946, Church World Service has supported refugees, immigrants and other displaced individuals, in addition to providing sustainable relief and development solutions to communities that wrestle with hunger and poverty. Learn more about our work and join our global homebase for refugee solidarity at GreaterAs1.org.